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Current Browser Market Shares and Trends

By Craig Buckler



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It’s been one month since I last looked at browser market shares and two months since Microsoft launched their “Browser Choice” update. It’s time to examine the statistics again to determine whether there have been any significant shifts or trends.

The following data has been obtained from StatCounter. Although website statistics are not perfect, it gives us a reasonable impression of usage changes.

Browser Statistics February to April 2010
Browser version Europe Worldwide
February April change relative February April change relative
IE 8.0 24.58% 25.95% +1.37% +5.60% 23.74% 26.10% +2.36% +9.90%
IE 7.0 14.95% 13.08% -1.87% -12.50% 19.00% 17.02% -1.98% -10.40%
IE 6.0 5.94% 5.06% -0.88% -14.80% 11.74% 10.14% -1.60% -13.60%
Firefox 3.5+ 33.17% 34.58% +1.41% +4.30% 26.20% 27.60% +1.40% +5.30%
Firefox 3.0+ 4.93% 3.48% -1.45% -29.40% 4.74% 3.48% -1.26% -26.60%
Firefox 1.0+ 0.91% 0.65% -0.26% -28.60% 0.87% 0.66% -0.21% -24.10%
Opera 4.29% 4.15% -0.14% -3.30% 1.94% 1.80% -0.14% -7.20%
Chrome 6.52% 8.27% +1.75% +26.80% 6.72% 8.05% +1.33% +19.80%
Safari 3.66% 3.80% +0.14% +3.80% 4.09% 4.22% +0.13% +3.20%
Others 1.05% 0.98% -0.07% -6.70% 0.96% 0.93% -0.03% -3.10%

The change column shows the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The relative column shows that change in relation to its February 2010 share, e.g. 13.6% of IE6 users abandoned the browser in the past two months.

It’s not surprising to find IE8 and Firefox 3.5+ gaining at the expense of their previous incarnations. I suspect IE6 and IE7 usage will reach parity by the end of the year, but the browsers are still likely to account for 1 in 10 users.

In total, IE has dropped by 1.38% in Europe and 1.22% worldwide but the ballot screen has not caused a dramatic change in overall usage. Total Firefox usage has also dropped slightly: 0.30% in Europe and 0.07% worldwide.

The only other browser to lose ground is Opera. It’s not decreased by much, but it’s a little surprising given that version 10.5 received plaudits from the industry.

Safari has gained a small market share. However, I suspect that’s mostly owing to the increased popularity of Apple’s PCs and handheld devices rather than users making an informed decision to switch browsers.

The biggest winner is Chrome which now has exceeded 8% worldwide share. Usage is growing at almost 1% per month and shows no sign of reaching its apogee. Google’s automated background update also meant version 4 totally replaced version 3 within a matter of weeks.

The situation for browser testing has not changed significantly but, if you’re not testing in Chrome and/or Safari now, perhaps it’s wise to start.

Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.

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